In Fleet Prison: A Rake's Progress, Plate 7

A Rake's Progress
Creation date
etching and engraving
12 3/8 x 15 1/8 in. (image) 17 1/4 x 23 in. (sheet)
Credit line
Gift of William George Sullivan
Accession number
Not Currently On View

The Rake, now a debtor confined in Fleet Prison, is at his wit’s end. His one-eyed but now emaciated wife berates him. Everyone is pursuing fruitless money-making schemes—a rejection note for the Rake’s play lies on the table; an alchemist attempts to turn base metal into gold. The man at the left has a scheme to pay the Nation’s debts written while he, ironically, is a “prisoner in the Fleet.” Sarah collapses at this tragic turn of events, and her child (and Tom Rakewell’s) tugs at her hem.

William George Sullivan; given to the John Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1930.
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